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David K Fribley


Marine Lance Corporal David K. Fribley was encouraged to join the Marines on May 14, 2002, by the September 11 attacks. He had worked as recreation manager for Shell Point, a retirement community in Fort Myers, Florida. Prior to leaving for boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina, David wrote his co-workers a thank-you letter. “The greatest gift one can give to another is the gift of service. I do not know who said this but I’ve heard this saying before. The following is my gift to you; may I honor you and our fellow countrymen and women. I will earn the privilege to wear Eagle, Globe and Anchor for all those that cannot. With all the strength of my fellow Marines, we shall always provide you with the comforting feeling of safety that you have each day. Semper Fidelis.”

David was born February 15, 1977 in Warsaw, Indiana to Gary and Linda Gillespie Fribley. He was a 1996 graduate of Warsaw High School where he lettered for four years in track & field and for three years in football. David graduated from Indiana State College with a degree in recreational-business administration.

He was killed in action at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 23, 2003 in the vicinity of An Nasiriyah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Marine chaplain Gordon Ritchie led the group who recovered the body of Lance Corporal Fribley and eight other Marines in a brief religious service at the scene, including a prayer and a moment of silence. “Marines care for their own,” Ritchie said. “And that is in life and in death. And so they see their duty not complete until they are resting in their homeland with their families.”

In one of the last comments he made to his family, David said he was just doing his job, and whatever happened, he didn’t want to be made out as a hero. “Right now, I’m sure I’m where [God] wants me to be,” he wrote to his parents. To those who knew him, that was the kind of person he was.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Ann & Josh Bays of Silver Lake; his brother, Airman First Class Steven Fribley, U.S. Air Force; his paternal grandmother, Evelyn Fribley; maternal grandparents, Keith & Dortha Gillespie; two nephews, Keegan and Austin; and his fiancé, Jenny Theos of Fort Myers.

His remains were interred in the Etna Green Cemetery at Etna Green, Indiana with full military honors.


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